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Storm and Pepper Litter – Week Seven

“Private Dining” The dining experience in the whelping box has evolved from a free-for-all around a ring which is really just a round trough of sorts to private dining where each pup gets their own little bowl. The perceived competition means that they all eat their food at a reasonably fast pace, all except Mr. Crème Brûlée that is. He does eat most of it but then gets distracted by potential playmates around him. As he meanders off, the portly Mr. Blueberry Cobbler tries to clean up the abandoned bowl. Not so fast! We have rules here you know, so the bowl gets whisked away for Pepper to clean up.

The gang went for a car ride today to visit our friendly veterinarian and received great reviews as expected. They were even well-behaved in the car, but no doubt relieved to return to the safety and comfort of their whelping box with their mom anxiously awaiting their arrival. Pepper has been a stellar mom who dotes on her puppies, checking up on them frequently to attend to their every n…
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Storm and Pepper Litter – Week Six

“Equipment Malfunction”Since the pups are well on their way to being fully weaned, they always have a fresh bowl of water at their disposal. To this end, we use a spill-proof bowl. Every now and again, a litter of puppies decides to test that theory with some experimentation. This was no exception. While there’s an insert that helps prevent most of the water from spilling out, we can’t count the number of times we have to retrieve the bowl to refill it and replace all the wet towels in the whelping box.
From day one, these little guys were quite confident and completely comfortable with their outdoor surroundings. Some litters are very tentative as they venture out, but not this one. They immediately went off to explore the grass, the rockery or munch on fallen twigs. Others used the vastness of the yard to engage in sporting activities with their siblings. A popular activity is the game of tag in which each puppy exhibits a burst of energy in succession. Another popular sport involves…

Storm and Pepper Litter – Week Five

“The Christmas Ornament”This was a week of adjustment as Pepper and her mini pack have now been relocated into the living room which is like a V.I.P. room for moms. She has both a sofa and a love seat to stretch out on for her ultimate relaxation while being able to keep a watchful eye and ear on her brood. What’s more, she has a private yard for a little walkabout which her puppies will use as their playground.  In the meantime, that’s where she and her two partners-in-crime, seven-month-old Dutch and Tulip consummate their digging projects. Pepper is so good-natured that she doesn’t mind that her two furry friends use her space as a thoroughfare en route to the backyard.
Since Pepper has been enticed by the comfort of the sofa and no longer sleeps in the whelping box, we’ve removed the pig rails altogether. We also added an extension which expands the space from 4x4 ft. to 4x8 ft. Despite the plethora of real estate, the pups still choose to bunk in one side of it, all sandwiched tog…

Storm and Pepper Litter – Week Four

“The Jigsaw Puzzle”The pups are spending a great deal of time playing and interacting with their siblings, so we’ll be expanding their living quarters very soon. In the meantime, they have gym memberships thanks to an elaborate play station and numerous plush toys at their disposal. While all of that is certainly fun, one of our favourite things is to watch them sleep. They have the most unique sleeping arrangements from the standard sibling pile where they’re all piled up in a heap to being interlocked in the most elaborate of jigsaw puzzles or Rubik’s cube to synchronized sleeping where they lie front to back, front to back and so on.
To help the puppies continue to bulk up, they had their first raw feeding of hormone and antibiotic-free meat with organic vegetables, pro-biotics, vitamin supplements including vitamin C, bovine colostrum and Puppy Gold for eye and immune system development, goat’s milk and plain yoghurt. With their inaugural bowl, no one needed a second invitation. M…

Storm and Skye Litter – Week Seven

“On the Road Again”A mere seven weeks ago, they were all chipmunk-size nuggets – all squirmy with little pink feet and noses. They evolved from helpless little bundles to real going concerns that are desperate for backyard time and curious to know what each and every little sight and sound represents. It’s interesting to witness the pups’ growing independence as they venture into the far corners of the yard either on their own or in small groups. How time flies.
This week, the gang got to go on a road trip to visit the friendly veterinarian. This is typically when many puppies start wailing but not this group. They were very quiet on the drive. Of course, once inside the clinic they made many hearts melt and were a bit hit with the clinic staff. Their examinations were all stellar and so was their behaviour. And not a single pee or poop on the floor during their entire time there. We’ve had some rowdy groups there in the past! The ride home was equally calm but we’re sure that the pups…

Storm and Pepper Litter – Week Three

“Riding the Rails”The pups reside in what’s called a whelping box: a 4 ft. square enclosure which we’ve lined with mats and towels, in order to accommodate the puppies’ rapid growth, we’ve had to raise the pig rails up a notch. These are rails around the inside of the whelping box, that are there to help prevent mom from accidentally squishing one of her kids. At some point during the following week, the rails can safely be removed altogether and an extension to the box will be added which will give the gang lots more room to play in. To enhance their experience, we’ve put stuffed animals in the whelping box as an obstacle course of sorts as well as fluffy playmates to cuddle with. 
Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, the puppies are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. They’re staggering around and beginning to get acquainted with their littermates. They can often be seen standing in a gro…

Storm and Skye Litter – Week Six

“The Teasing Game”The gang is growing steadily and is now getting three meals a day, supplemented by Skye’s still frequent offerings of dessert. Their muzzles are lengthening and are beginning to look a bit more like the adults they will eventually become. Their emotions are becoming apparent too, so they whine to show fear, whimper if they’re hurt and bark when they are excited, want attention or are ready for dinner. And they seem to be ready for dinner a lot! We are spending time alone with each puppy, playing gently and teaching them to relate one-on-one in a safe, trusting situation. The best part is that we get to repeat the exercise each and every day and this group is particularly affectionate.

From day one, these little guys were totally comfortable with their outdoor surroundings and they’ve since had many opportunities to enjoy the yard. Their first priority is to see if mom is willing to oblige them with a snack. Once that been determined and fulfilled, they immediately rus…